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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Paris, Kyle [1], Boyd, Robert [2], Wright, Amy [3], Burgess, Kevin [4].

Reproductive attrition of Clematis morefieldii, a federally endangered plant.

Reproductive attrition studies document the status of flower buds through time, determining how successful buds are at producing fruit, and ultimately aiding rare plant managers in the development of an appropriate management plan. Reproductive attrition studies of Clematis morefieldii were centered at The Nature Conservancy owned Keel Mountain Preserve in Madison County, AL. The status of all flower buds on 40 study plants was recorded throughout the growing season during four years (2009 through 2012), documenting fruit production and identifying pre-dispersal reproductive bottlenecks. This study revealed a major bottleneck impeding fruit production, which can in part be attributed to herbivory. Out of all flower buds produced, at least 29% were verified destroyed by herbivores in 2009, 70% in 2010, 54% in 2011, and 52% in 2012. The study found that many buds in the smallest stage were being destroyed or aborted with 43% (at least 15% destroyed by herbivores) dying in 2009, 59% (at least 49% destroyed by herbivores) in 2010, 53% (at least 38% destroyed by herbivores) in 2011, and 82% (at least 41% destroyed by herbivores) in 2012. Few buds produced mature fruit, with only 12% of total buds successful in 2009, 5% in 2010, 13% in 2011, and 1% in 2012. The major herbivore contributing to the lack of reproductive success appears to be an unidentified lepidopteran larva which consumes flower buds in all stages. This study brings to light the high levels of floral herbivory on this plant, allowing managers to better understand the factors limiting fruit production.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - 500 Webster Rd Lot 207, Auburn, AL, 36832, USA
2 - Auburn University, Department of Biological Sciences, 101 LIFE SCIENCES BLDG, AUBURN UNIVERSITY, AL, 36849-5407, USA
3 - Auburn University, Horticulture, 101 Funchess Hall, Auburn University, AL, 36849, USA
4 - Columbus State University, Biology, 4225 University Avenue, Lenoir Hall 163A, Columbus, GA, 31907, USA

endangered species.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PCB004
Abstract ID:505
Candidate for Awards:None

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